Robotics

One million robots working in the auto industry worldwide – a new record

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The auto industry has the largest number of robots working in factories worldwide: The operational stock reached a new record of around one million units. This represents about a third of the total number installed across all industries.

“The auto industry effectively invented automated manufacturing,” says Marina Bill, President of the International Robotics Federation. “Today, robots are playing a critical role in enabling the industry’s transition from internal combustion engines to electric power. Robotic automation is helping automakers manage massive changes to traditional manufacturing methods and technologies.”

Robot density in automotive

Robot density is a leading indicator that describes the current level of automation in the top auto-producing economies: At Republic of Korea2,867 industrial robots per 10,000 employees in operation by 2021. German ranked in second place with 1,500 units followed by United States of America count 1457 units and Japan with 1,422 units per 10,000 workers.

world’s largest automaker, Chinahas a robot density of 772 units, but is catching up fast: Within a year, new robot installations in China’s auto industry have nearly doubled to 61,598 units in 2021- accounting for 52% of the total 119,405 units installed in factories worldwide.

Electric vehicles drive automation

Ambitious political targets for electric vehicles are forcing the car industry to invest: The European Union has announced plans to end sales of air polluting vehicles by 2035. The US government aims to achieve a voluntary goal of 50% market share for sales of electric vehicles by 2030 and all new vehicles those sold in China must be powered by “new energy” by 2035. Half must be electric, fuel cell, or plug-in hybrid – the remaining 50%, hybrid vehicles.

Most automakers that have invested in traditional “locked-in” industrial robots for basic assembly are now also investing in collaborative applications for assembly and final finishing tasks. Tier two auto parts suppliers, many of whom are SMEs, have been slower to fully automate. However, as robots become smaller, more adaptable, easier to program, and less capital intensive, this is expected to change.

tags: c-Automotive


The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) connects robotics worldwide. We aim to promote the positive benefits of robots for productivity, competitiveness, economic growth, and quality of work and life.

The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) connects robotics worldwide. We aim to promote the positive benefits of robots for productivity, competitiveness, economic growth, and quality of work and life.

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